Six months since Haiyan, Konno donates money for Philippine rebuilding

May 8, 2014

Celebrating a UNDP-supported garden. Photo: Lesley Wright/UNDP Philippines

Japanese actress and writer Misako Konno has donated 1 million yen (approximately US$ 10,200) to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to help rebuild the Philippines following devastating Typhoon Haiyan.

The announcement comes on the six month anniversary of the disaster, which killed over 6,200 people and displaced more than 4 million from their homes when it made landfall in the Philippines’ Eastern Samar province on 8 November last year. More than 1,000 people are still listed as missing.

“UNDP is doing a great deal to help the people of the Philippines who have been affected by this terrible storm,” said Ms. Konno today. “By helping to meet the immediate needs of affected communities, kick-start recovery through the removal of debris and waste, and generate emergency employment – they are helping to create conditions for long-term recovery and sustainable development. I am very proud of my association with UNDP. I hope that my contribution will draw attention to continued recovery efforts in the country and, combined with other donations from around the world, empower the people to build a resilient society.”

As well as donating her own money, Ms. Konno has also worked since the outset of the deadly storm to raise awareness about UNDP’s efforts to rebuild the devastated region.

“We are very thankful to Ms. Konno and her hard work as a Goodwill Ambassador - raising awareness about poverty and development issues,” said Maurice Dewulf, UNDP Philippines Country Director. “Her work to help make people aware of the devastation faced by those in the Philippines has been amazing. This sizable donation, combined with her long-term support for UNDP for many years now shows true dedication to the cause of sustainable development.”

Ms. Konno is one of many UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors who have helped raise awareness about the plight of communities affected by Haiyan – and efforts to rebuild and recover. In April, soccer stars Marta Vieira da Silva, Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane joined a host of other well-known footballers in a benefit match – the 11th Match Against Poverty, which raised over US$ 190,000 for UNDP’s recovery efforts in the Philippines.

Misako Konno made her debut in 1979, appearing in various television programmes, movies and stage productions and is well-known in Japan, where she regularly delivers public lectures at schools and events advocating the importance of Japanese international cooperation. Since becoming a Goodwill Ambassador in 1998, Ms. Konno has paid official visits to many countries to promote UNDP’s activities. She recently published a book of essays “La La La Shinzentaishi (Goodwill Ambassador),” and is the longest-serving UNDP Goodwill Ambassador. Ms Konno received the Japan Writer's Prize in Women's Literary Category for her science essay "Sora Tobu Hotate" (English title: “The Flying Scallop”) in 1995.

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